Same format with some more tackling to the ground according to our source. It was perhaps the most physical day they've had thus far. They also brought back the physical competition drills they had earlier in spring camp, but tackled like they would in game situations which is a first for this spring camp.
It's also important to note that Mack Brown is super hands off according to the Asset which is certainly a divergence from last season. Make of that what you will but it's something to keep an eye on. On to the report...
QB- David Ash again got the reps of the unquestioned first team guy and then it was kind of a conglomerate of Jalen Overstreet, Case McCoy and Tyrone Swoopes according to our source. They all had the same number of reps if you were counting. The Asset says it was hard to tell who is the number 2 if you based it purely on reps, but if you took into account who got more plays as a passer, then you'd have to think Tyrone Swoopes and Jalen Overstreet were in some sort of competition for the backup spot--or they were just trying to get them passing work.
That said, the Asset claims Tyrone Swoopes had his best day as a Longhorn. He had a fabulous day that included deep strikes to both Kendall Sanders and Cayleb Jones in team drills. "He just keeps getting more reps and does a lot with them. He's gone from going ahead of Conner Brewer to sharing reps with the other two." As for Conner Brewer, he had no reps in a significant team setting which is odd. Stay tuned for the next practice report which should help further clear up the reps situation.
RB- Same depth chart as reported in the Humidor. Gray and Brown are 1a and 1b. Some tackling to the ground which gave our source a better indication of performance. To that end, Brown had a slightly better day getting yards where there seemingly weren't any. Malcolm actually had the biggest yardage gain of the day in scrimmage work where he ripped off a run for 40 yards making a clever cut inside the tackle then bouncing it out through an arm tackle of Kendall Thompson for big yards. Our source says Brown is poised for a huge year if he keeps this up.
As for Gray, he had a couple of near misses for big gains where he was stopped by an arm tackle. On one play in particular, Gray motioned to the slot and caught a quick screen he would have housed from 60 yards out if he wouldn't have stepped out of bounds after 12 yards. Our source thinks this running back group is the best in the Big 12 and that's without mentioning Bergeron who had a solid day in short yardage and goal-line.
WR- It's Davis, Ship and then a Sanders/Daje Johnson combo for the third spot followed by Bryant Jackson and Cayleb Jones for multi-WR sets. If there's a surprise player in camp, Kendall Sanders has to be that guy after today. The sophomore came in for traditional 4 wide sets and set the world on fire. Daje was the base guy in three wides with Mal Brown and John Gray sitting in the backfield in some packages according to the Asset.
As for the stalwarts on the outside, Mike Davis and Shipley had great days. Davis had several deep catches in scrimmage work while Shipley and Davis alternated as intermediate safety valves for the first team.
Daje was his versatile self in the quick passing game and as a reverse and running back option. It's obvious they just want to get Daje the ball in space because he's the best play-maker on the team according to the Asset.
TE- MJ McFarland and Greg Daniels are 1a and 1b. One needs to learn how to block and the other needs to be more of a threat as a pass catcher. MJ is the better player by a slim margin according to our source but perhaps not today. "McFarland was a disappointment today because he didn't make a big play in the passing game."
OL-Same two deep with Hawkins, Flowers, Espy, Walters, and Estelle. This group was followed by Hutchins, Doyle, Porter, Riser, Greenlea on the second team in that order from left to right. Our source says that neither group is a cohesive unit as a run blocking unit. In pass pro they're legit at this point, especially the first team. "They need more ass on the Oline to dominate in the run game. The center and the guards still don't do enough to displace the interior Dline for running lanes." In other words, we need Darius James and Desmond Harrison yesterday.
DT-It's still Whaley and Brown, then Dorsey and Tank Jackson. Our source says Mal Brown may be the best player on the team. If today was an indication then the depth at DT is certainly a team strength because Dorsey and Ridgeway are starting to assert themselves more. More on Ridge in a minute.
DE-The first team was back to Reed and Shiro, followed by Bluiett/Cottrell and Wilson. Reed made another leap today in terms of performance giving Hawkins fits. Shiro had a solid day and Bluiett/Cottrell flashed. It's also good news that Wilson participated in all of the scrimmage work and seems to be getting healthier by the snap.
LB-The first team is Santos, Jinkens, and and Kendall Thompson. This group performed well, especially versus the run. Jinkens and Santos really pair well together according to our source. The bad news of the day occurred when Tevin Jackson went down with what looked to be a painful injury. Our source says it looked like he fractured a collar bone on a violent tackle which sucks because this unit can't afford that type of injury with Hicks already being held out.
The second team was Edmond, Benson, and Tim Cole. Edmond had another solid day while Tim Cole flashed some athleticism against the WR screen game, much to Manny Diaz's approval. Cole is a heady kid that can play his way into more snaps now that Jackson appears to be hurt.
DB--Quandre got some nickel back reps today with Duke Thomas and Byndom at corner. Is this the gradual move to safety IT has predicted for Diggs? Perhaps.
In base personnel, the most interesting data point was Phillips and Turner playing safety in some first team packages. Our source indicates Mykkele Thompson and Josh Turner are interchangeable right now if today's practice is a barometer.
The surprises of the day in the secondary may be the second team defensive backfield. Sheroid Evans, Bryson Echols, and Adrian Colbert helped give the second team offense fits in the passing game according to our source. "If you took the names off the back of the jerseys, I'm not convinced that Evans and Colbert aren't worthy of starter snaps. They look that good. I'm also not sure you can keep Echols out of the mix based on his performance today."
As for other random tidbits from the Asset, here goes...
David Ash had a much better day delivering the football than he had in the open workouts.
Mike Davis has shown a great work ethic and is really making plays, same with Shipley. Mike Davis looked like an NFL wide-out today against a solid secondary.
Echols seems to understand the position very well as he's been looking much more comfortable lately. He's a sleeper that will make an impact in the next two seasons and maybe sooner.
Hassan Ridgeway decided to show up and play today. He got off blocks and knifed to ball carriers in scrimmage work which is the first time he's done that in a week. He had good plays against the first team as well as two sacks against the second team OL which should have the ISU's of the world worried. If his motor shows up he's the second most talented DT on the squad.
Blueitt and Cottrell are really coming along at DE to provide depth. They could be the steals of that recruiting class.
Bryant Jackson just gets open and doesn't ever drop the ball. He's the early favorite for the Nate Jones/Brandon Healey award.
Play of the day was a stop and go to Mike Davis, freaking Duke Thomas out of his jock by 20 yards for a 50 yard touchdown. Davis has a weird knack for getting open vertically with just better than average speed. If you want a kid that blows by people and plays a game of "go-get-it" look no farther than Kendall Sanders. It will be fun to watch Davis and Sanders two threaten safeties over the top, which should also be a boon to the running game.
Stay tuned for the next practice report from the Asset...
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